DAN A4-SFX: The smallest gaming case in the world

Zarathustra[H]

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Gr8 b8 m8

Though really, it's portability. Maybe we can't fit big ass coolers or such to push high spec components to the limit but we can still use i7s and the best GPUs, just in a pretty metal shoebox that we can take just about anywhere. I backpacked my A4-SFX, keyboard and mouse, keyboard wrist rest, a 15 inch HDMI monitor, a PS4 controller, my wireless headset and all of the required cables just the other week on foot and was set up again at my destination in about 10 minutes tops. And I didn't break my back doing so


Not bait. I was genuinely curious, and did not understand the appeal. I asked the question, and you answered it.

I have never once in my life wished that my PC build were more portable. I have never had the desire to go anywhere with it. At least not since the days of null-modem cable multiplayer gaming in the early to mid 90's. and I didn't realize people did this. The need for portability in a desktop had never even crossed my mind.

My builds plunk down under my desk and apart from when I move every 5 years or so on average, it never moves.

So - while this may not be the best place for this question - I am still curious. What do you do that results in a need for portability?
 

RedSawn

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Aug 15, 2017
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No worries mate, I'm not miffed or anything. I saw others pointed out the weird juxtaposition hence why someone would think bait x)

My use case and I guess concept revolves around how long I'm going somewhere and amusement requirements. I've got the little guns for average days out (PSP Go in pocket, handheld Switch in shoulder bag), the medium guns for staying somewhere with guests (Switch with dock and accessories in messenger bag) and the A4-SFX is my big gun, when I'm staying somewhere for few days and need to be able to take care of things that would be just plain awkward on a phone screen, while having an arsenal of modern games and upscaled emulators running at rock solid 60 FPS.
 

OmenemO

Limp Gawd
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Feb 25, 2016
Messages
129
.

So - while this may not be the best place for this question - I am still curious. What do you do that results in a need for portability?

I work from home, but that gets boring, so I often take my PC to a mates place, & go to the office a couple of times a week (each of these locations have a monitor, network and power cables waiting for me). I do a lot of work with cad and solid works, which necessitates a pretty beefy machine, I could have gone for a laptop, but I dislike their upgradeability, they tend to be hot and noisy & heavy with the specs I want too.

Finally I like building / tinkering with my PC, so having a laptop would cost me hobby time.
 

cowsgomoo2

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Jan 8, 2016
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Not bait. I was genuinely curious, and did not understand the appeal. I asked the question, and you answered it.

I have never once in my life wished that my PC build were more portable. I have never had the desire to go anywhere with it. At least not since the days of null-modem cable multiplayer gaming in the early to mid 90's. and I didn't realize people did this. The need for portability in a desktop had never even crossed my mind.

My builds plunk down under my desk and apart from when I move every 5 years or so on average, it never moves.

So - while this may not be the best place for this question - I am still curious. What do you do that results in a need for portability?

Some people do not need desktops, some people don't play games, some people don't need 32GB of ram let alone 64GB. Taking a desktop around is heavily centered around lifestyle choices and situations. Asking why someone would take a desktop around is like asking why someone would play games or need 64GB of ram. In the end you'll up up explaining very specific and personal situations of why you do what you do that people wouldn't understand because they've never been in those situations.
 

illram

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Not bait. I was genuinely curious, and did not understand the appeal. I asked the question, and you answered it.

I have never once in my life wished that my PC build were more portable. I have never had the desire to go anywhere with it. At least not since the days of null-modem cable multiplayer gaming in the early to mid 90's. and I didn't realize people did this. The need for portability in a desktop had never even crossed my mind.

My builds plunk down under my desk and apart from when I move every 5 years or so on average, it never moves.

So - while this may not be the best place for this question - I am still curious. What do you do that results in a need for portability?

It's not just portability. Not everyone wants a huge monster computer on the floor. I certainly do not. I like having a small sleek looking machine that is unobtrusive and/or blends in with other consumer hardware, but that I still like the looks of if I do see it or want to put it somewhere it can be seen. I also value minimalist sleek design and you see that more in small cases. The A4 for example is a beautiful looking case. Way too many large towers are ugly monstrosities. There are some good ones but they are a minority.
 
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thed00d

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May 17, 2017
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69
I accidently ripped out two of the four clips that hold the side Panel in place - is there any place where I can order new ones to replace that?
 

bAMtan2

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Sep 16, 2008
Messages
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I think an extra-THICC A4 would be great, now that high end video cards are 3 slots. But it's not a priority because it's easy to get 2 slot cards.

Dan makes such a good product because he believes in limits. He could make a bigger case that fits more stuff... but that would be a different case than this one ;)
 

Hanakuso

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
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I think an extra-THICC A4 would be great, now that high end video cards are 3 slots. But it's not a priority because it's easy to get 2 slot cards.

Dan makes such a good product because he believes in limits. He could make a bigger case that fits more stuff... but that would be a different case than this one ;)
IMO the M1 is perfect for a 3 slot card

For me the A4 is more straightforward with less options but smaller. The M1 is bigger with more wiggle room
 

{NG}Fidel

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Messages
6,284
Not bait. I was genuinely curious, and did not understand the appeal. I asked the question, and you answered it.

I have never once in my life wished that my PC build were more portable. I have never had the desire to go anywhere with it. At least not since the days of null-modem cable multiplayer gaming in the early to mid 90's. and I didn't realize people did this. The need for portability in a desktop had never even crossed my mind.

My builds plunk down under my desk and apart from when I move every 5 years or so on average, it never moves.

So - while this may not be the best place for this question - I am still curious. What do you do that results in a need for portability?
I understand that and some of us like having both a big ass rig and a portable power house for lan gaming.
 

Jdbye

n00b
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
18
This should help. All measurements are eyeballed in-case, and may be off by a mm or two.

View attachment 143477
Thanks. Based on that picture it looks like the heaetpipes would not clear the RAM, so that ASUS motherboard likely wouldn't fit it. The heatsinks on the ASUS are pretty chunky and close up to the CPU area. The Cooltek is really utilizing all the available space, which is good for cooling, but kind of makes putting a build together a hassle, which I hadn't considered. I think the Gigabyte is probably my best bet, but I heard their BIOS is awful. The Z370 motherboards seem like they are more compatible overall, with smaller/fewer heatsinks, but I don't have a CPU to put in it should it require a firmware update for the 9xxx series CPUs to work.
 

dglow

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Thanks. Based on that picture it looks like the heaetpipes would not clear the RAM, so that ASUS motherboard likely wouldn't fit it. The heatsinks on the ASUS are pretty chunky and close up to the CPU area. The Cooltek is really utilizing all the available space, which is good for cooling, but kind of makes putting a build together a hassle, which I hadn't considered. I think the Gigabyte is probably my best bet, but I heard their BIOS is awful. The Z370 motherboards seem like they are more compatible overall, with smaller/fewer heatsinks, but I don't have a CPU to put in it should it require a firmware update for the 9xxx series CPUs to work.

The pipes do clear the RAM when the curves are pointed to 9:00. I avoided this orientation at first because one of the heatpipe stubs blocks a fan header, but decided to work around this given Engr62's advice above.

myLP-53.take2.jpg



If those stubs clear that trapezoid-like structure on the Strix Z390-I this could work for you.

Strix-Z390-I.jpg
 

Alexreffand

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This is cute and all, but I just don't understand why everyone is freaking out about tiny cases. Just put the Full Tower on the floor where it belongs, and it doesn't take up any desk space. Size is suddenly not an issue, you haven't given up any of the expansion options you do with a tiny case, and you can use massive quiet cooling, if you so please.
It costs you $0 to not be like this.
 

Jdbye

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The pipes do clear the RAM when the curves are pointed to 9:00. I avoided this orientation at first because one of the heatpipe stubs blocks a fan header, but decided to work around this given Engr62's advice above.

View attachment 145919


If those stubs clear that trapezoid-like structure on the Strix Z390-I this could work for you.

View attachment 145920
Thanks, you have no idea how helpful that information is.

That trapezoid stub is thin and seems designed so that a CPU cooler can fit over it, I don't think it would pose a problem as long as the cooler doesn't collide with the bigger part of the I/O cover/heatsink itself, since unlike most other motherboards it can't be easily removed. The heatsinks along with the I/O cover are one solid piece.
Removing the top of the m.2 heatsink might also give enough clearance for the pipes to fit in that direction. From what I heard the top piece doesn't do much anyway, it's just a solid piece of metal.

I have a feeling that it might get so crowded in the A4-SFX with that mobo and cooler that it looks silly though. Even if it fits and I like the aesthetic of it (which I do), it might not look great in that case. Then again maybe the heatsinks don't look as bulky in the A4-SFX as I'm imagining them.
 

dglow

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Thanks, you have no idea how helpful that information is.
Great, glad to hear it.

Removing the top of the m.2 heatsink might also give enough clearance for the pipes to fit in that direction.
Okay, but read upthread a bit. Apparently orienting the heatpipe curves at 12:00 reduces cooling performance.

I have a feeling that it might get so crowded in the A4-SFX with that mobo and cooler that it looks silly though. Even if it fits and I like the aesthetic of it (which I do), it might not look great in that case. Then again maybe the heatsinks don't look as bulky in the A4-SFX as I'm imagining them.
Honestly, after mounting the fan you won't see much of the heatsink anyway, especially if you use a fan shroud. Which, by the way, I highly recommend for the A4.
 

oblongpolygon

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Sep 4, 2017
Messages
119
It seems to me that the top-tier GPUs can no longer fit inside the Dan anymore, given thickness of RTX cards.

Or compatibility is just a little more difficult, now.

I think I'd need to buy a Zotac rather than an Asus card.

Does anyone know if the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Edition 8GB would fit in the Dan?

Or what about the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 OC Mini 8GB instead? (The mini weirdly seems to be thicker than the AMP version.)

It seems to me that the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 OC Edition 6GB wouldn't fit.
 

ReaperX22

Gawd
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Oct 29, 2013
Messages
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Not bait. I was genuinely curious, and did not understand the appeal. I asked the question, and you answered it.

I have never once in my life wished that my PC build were more portable. I have never had the desire to go anywhere with it. At least not since the days of null-modem cable multiplayer gaming in the early to mid 90's. and I didn't realize people did this. The need for portability in a desktop had never even crossed my mind.

My builds plunk down under my desk and apart from when I move every 5 years or so on average, it never moves.

So - while this may not be the best place for this question - I am still curious. What do you do that results in a need for portability?

I don't need portability, however as I rent it's nice being able to throw it in a small box and move it when I need to. Also previously my reason for downsizing is when I was living at home (with my parents), I had quite a small room, so had limited space in that regard. A smaller, more compact system was easier to manage. And my carpet was terrible, so keeping something on the desk rather than on the floor was better for dust management too(I went mATX > ATX > mATX to my ITX), so it's not like I've not trialled larger towers!) Also I just like the look! Nowadays, I just have no reason to go big. Small works, I don't need any expansion PCIE slots, I use an External USB DAC, 16GB of RAM is plenty, has all the I/O I need. The 'only' challenge is cooling I suppose, but I don't have a particularly extreme machine so it's mostly a non-issue for me.
 

myzhi1

n00b
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
5
It seems to me that the top-tier GPUs can no longer fit inside the Dan anymore, given thickness of RTX cards.

Or compatibility is just a little more difficult, now.

I think I'd need to buy a Zotac rather than an Asus card.

Does anyone know if the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Edition 8GB would fit in the Dan?

Or what about the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 OC Mini 8GB instead? (The mini weirdly seems to be thicker than the AMP version.)

It seems to me that the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 OC Edition 6GB wouldn't fit.
What this about it not fittting top tier GPUs? My 2080Ti FE fits inside the Dan A4 just fine. Now, if you are talking about 3rd party cards more thick than 2 slot, sure, but that’s always been the case since the Dan A4 was release.
 
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michel v

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Hello!

After one year using the case, I'm really happy with my purchase.

Now, I want to know if I can get rid of a source of noise, and replace my SF450 with a smaller PSU + external brick.

This is what's in my case: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/KwZJxG - I'm not overclocking anything, neither do I plan to (if anything I wonder if switching to a 8400k would be a wise move).

Would a HDPlex 400 work fine with those components, especially during gaming sessions?
Bonus question: any pics of such a setup?
 

ReaperX22

Gawd
Joined
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Messages
720
Hello!

After one year using the case, I'm really happy with my purchase.

Now, I want to know if I can get rid of a source of noise, and replace my SF450 with a smaller PSU + external brick.

This is what's in my case: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/KwZJxG - I'm not overclocking anything, neither do I plan to (if anything I wonder if switching to a 8400k would be a wise move).

Would a HDPlex 400 work fine with those components, especially during gaming sessions?
Bonus question: any pics of such a setup?

I wouldn't downgrade to a 8400 (non k, doesn't have a K Sku). Just undervolt/clock your 8600k if you feel it's getting too toasty, but I imagine at stock speeds it should be fine.

PSU would be fine for your components. What PSU are you using? Corsair SF450 or Silverstone, etc? What's noisy about it? Your machine shouldn't really be hitting over 250w~ much.
 

irbab00n

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Sep 28, 2018
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Gr8 b8 m8

Though really, it's portability. Maybe we can't fit big ass coolers or such to push high spec components to the limit but we can still use i7s and the best GPUs, just in a pretty metal shoebox that we can take just about anywhere. I backpacked my A4-SFX, keyboard and mouse, keyboard wrist rest, a 15 inch HDMI monitor, a PS4 controller, my wireless headset and all of the required cables just the other week on foot and was set up again at my destination in about 10 minutes tops. And I didn't break my back doing so

Same for me and I've been looking for a case to do just that! The photography cases I've looked for are just too large though, what are you using as a case?
 

RedSawn

Weaksauce
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Aug 15, 2017
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Same for me and I've been looking for a case to do just that! The photography cases I've looked for are just too large though, what are you using as a case?

I've got the WALLYE Tactik v2 dufflebag, another Kickstarter story
 

agemon

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Mar 14, 2019
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Just finished my build with my V1 (buyed on kickstarter and never used), and i have to say thanks Dan this case is a beauty. Ryzen 2600 with rtx 2060 and i can play in VR with it ( the heaset is almost as big them the case lol).
 

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DanielOS96

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Will the v4 come to overclockers? And is that the v4 on sff lab already because it says v4 on the listing but then it shows images of one of the previous versions without the usb c on the front?
 

dondan

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DanielOS96 Yes it will come to overclockers in May. On SFFLab they started preorder for v4. They will get the new pictures on weekend so they can update the page.
 

makenick

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My case gots very warm. With removed side part, it is much better now, noticeable by lower fan noise. For this reason, I wanted to improve the airflow and edited a side panel with my Dremel. This works very well. My plan was actually to fine-tune the mesh, but somehow I like it the way it is now.....
 

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Nanook

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My case gots very warm. With removed side part, it is much better now, noticeable by lower fan noise. For this reason, I wanted to improve the airflow and edited a side panel with my Dremel. This works very well. My plan was actually to fine-tune the mesh, but somehow I like it the way it is now.....
Pretty nice :) How are temps now?
 

HaX

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My case gots very warm. With removed side part, it is much better now, noticeable by lower fan noise. For this reason, I wanted to improve the airflow and edited a side panel with my Dremel. This works very well. My plan was actually to fine-tune the mesh, but somehow I like it the way it is now.....

Nice Dremel grill
 

SkyhookJr

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Mar 22, 2019
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Here is a step by step guide on how to build a silent Dan A4 SFX system. If you are tired of your case sounding like a jet engine then this is the video for you. I have also ordered a fan shroud and may post the before and after thermals if it helps cool the system down further. Enjoy.

 
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michel v

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PSU would be fine for your components. What PSU are you using? Corsair SF450 or Silverstone, etc? What's noisy about it? Your machine shouldn't really be hitting over 250w~ much.

Thanks. I'm currently using an SF450, and it's fine. Could be that I exaggerate the noise, when really it's all the GPU's fault. :)
 

michel v

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Hello!

I want to change GPU in my v2, and go AMD with a Vega 56 or 64.

Is there a compatibility list somewhere?
Thanks in advance.

(I have searched on the forum and came up empty handed.)
 

Jandresen

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Apr 2, 2019
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Narrowing down the perfect board for an 8400 and a Dan Case v4.

I'm hoping to find a board with a front m.2 and a Gen 2 front connector.

There's the Asus Z370/390 boards but it seems a bit weird to buy a Z board for a locked processor.

Anyone got any tips for a H board that has my two limitations?
 
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